Enemy of the Sun
Shadows

Enemy of the Sun is the latest musical endeavor from Grip Inc mastermind Waldemar Sorychta. The material on debut offering Shadows is undeniably metal, but there’s much more at play here than just that. The heavier thrashier parts are most comparable to Strapping Young Lad’s wall-of-sound cyber thrashing, but then there’s the not so intense, quirky moments that can bring to mind Faith No More or even more so System of a Down – not necessarily in sound, but in they’re off the wall approach and somewhat in vocal delivery at times.

I must admit that Shadows is quite the frustrating listen for me. As album opener “Emptiness” begins with some killer groove and that SYL sound, it soon delves into one of those quirky moments that I mentioned before and kills the mood, and so goes through the likes of “Lives Based on Conflicts” with it’s System of Down like vocal flow through the chorus, the middle-eastern sounding elements of “Clearly Surreal” and “Feel the Burning”, or the flat out weirdness of “Twenty Three Feet”, “Brain Sucking Machine” and “Liar”.

But it’s not all bad though – the bands left of center approach works well in “Weak” and “Carousel” where their various influences are well balanced, and “Satisfied by Ego Purposes” which begins with some tribal sounding groove that brings to mind later period Max Cavalera Sepultura before locking into a killer thrash groove and sticking with it. If more songs on the album were a little closer to these three focused tracks, I’d be singing praises rather than nitpicking each little piece of each song.

I must give credit to Enemy of the Sun for doing something so fresh, ambitious and different than just about anything else out there at the moment, but it just seems haphazardly constructed and not always as cohesive as it should be. I really wanted to like this, but even after several repeated spins, I walked away with the same impression as the time before. For every awesome part, there’s one that makes me nearly cringe. This could be remedied on future releases with a bit of restraint from throwing just anything out there and stopping to think “is this really gonna sound good right here, or should we re-think this?” But still, I must recommend Shadows to those who like their metal a bit more adventurous and never knowing what’s around the next corner.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 21st, 2008

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